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RISE To Advocate For Young Women Facing Breast Cancer

RISE To Advocate For Young Women Facing Breast Cancer
RISE: Respected Influences through Science and Education

It’s been nearly a year since we launched our exciting breast cancer advocacy training program: RISE. We selected 10 incredible RISE Advocates who spent the last year learning about the science of breast cancer and how to advocate for others like them who have been impacted by this disease. We’re now accepting applications for this exciting and competitive program and looking to recruit up to ten new RISE trainees for the 2017 Class.

The program covers travel costs and related expenses for RISE Advocates as they attend training or are asked to attend events and conferences to represent YSC. The three required training/conferences which must be completed over the two years of training include the NBCC Summit (May 20-23, 2017), Project LEAD (typically in July, dates not yet set) and the Alamo Scholar program at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (December 4-9, 2017). In 2017, the new class of RISE advocates will be required to attend the YSC Summit (March 10-12, 2017) for in-person training.

RISE Advocates at Project LEAD 2016

I reached out to a few of our current RISE Advocates to learn of their experiences and how this training program has positively impacted their lives.



DianePrior to becoming a RISE Advocate, I had read scientific journals and learned a fair amount of the language of breast cancer. But I never understood the HOW and WHY. Project LEAD gave me a great foundation in the science and biology of breast cancer. While at Project LEAD, I also had the opportunity to network with other advocates and interact with a group of highly esteemed doctors and researchers. For me the highlight of the week was the small group discussions with researchers, where we got to sit with researchers in an informal setting and learn about their current research work and ask lots of questions. I found the immunology presentations very interesting and all of the research and trials continues to give me hope that we will find a cure. I look forward to putting the knowledge I gained to good use as a RISE Advocate.

Rebecca Seago-Coyle

rseago-coyleA common question my friends ask me is what is breast cancer advocacy and why do I participate. First, I’m really passionate about breast cancer research. I remember sitting there waiting for the doctors to come in 6 years ago to tell me my fate and being so afraid. I don’t wish that fear on anyone so now I try to make a difference in the way that I know how. As Project Manager, I use my professional skills to build relationships and ask the right questions regarding researcher’s projects when I’m asked to sit at the table. For me, that’s advocacy. Advocacy is working not only with researchers but other advocates. We all have so much to learn and sharing the knowledge will only empower us all.  

Being a YSC RISE Advocate, I had the privilege to attend both the NBCC Summit and Project LEAD. Both of these events were electrifying as I was surrounded by like-minded people, all of whom wanted to end breast cancer. I also never knew that cancer could be so political. The information I learned at the NBCC Summit has enabled me to reach out to my friends and family and share how they can make a difference by reaching out to their state representatives. Project LEAD gave me the science background that I needed to understand whether or not what the researchers are proposing is relevant and doable.  

For me, I know that I can’t cure cancer myself, but I can be part of the solution. I’m excited to work with YSC and other advocates to keep educating myself and sharing my experiences so that we can all be part of the solution…to end breast cancer.


Michele Hille

mhilleI wanted to be a YSC RISE Advocate to springboard my advocacy efforts above and beyond supporting amazing women through their breast cancer journey. Halfway through the first year with RISE I can honestly say I’m well on the way.

My first task was to attend Project LEAD and what a week it was!!! Project LEAD elevated my understanding of the science, policy, and key advocacy efforts in the breast cancer world. I came away from LEAD meeting amazing survivors and advocates, an incredible understanding of all scientific aspects of breast cancer, and, most importantly, the first draft of an action plan to take my advocacy efforts to a new level. Knowledge is power and there is nothing more powerful than an army of knowledgeable breast cancer survivors!!! I’m thrilled that RISE enabled me to attend these conferences and I’m very much looking forward to working on advancing the mission of YSC and young breast cancer survivors.


Dana Stewart

dstewartLike many cancer survivors, much of the fear and anxiety around cancer stems from the wonders of whether or not it will come back, why it happened in the first place and will that same thing trigger cancer again. It’s been hard for me to work through these fears and I believe a lot of the reason behind that is I simply didn’t understand cancer. So, when the opportunity to go to Project LEAD was offered to me, I couldn’t pass it up. During my week at Project LEAD, I learned the ins and outs of cancer; specifically the how and why.  

I am still not an expert on cancer by any means, but now I can say I understand the basic components of cancer along with an increased understanding of how it is being fought. Project LEAD not only has helped me strengthen my abilities as a patient advocate, but it has also strengthened my ability to fight the cancer fears and anxiety that tends to hover around my mind.



Join the 2017 Class of RISE Advocates

If you’re seriously interested in becoming a breast cancer advocate and want to better understand the science of breast cancer, now is your chance to apply to join the next class of RISE Advocates!

Through RISE, you’ll become an elite volunteer advocate and receive training in all aspects of breast cancer, including science, research, advocacy and policy. Once trained as a RISE Advocate, you’ll be qualified to speak intelligently and credibly on behalf of YSC and other young survivors.

RISE is open to any interested breast cancer survivor, however, preference will be given to women initially diagnosed with breast cancer under age 40 and to women who have already established connections to YSC. Applicants must reside in the United States or Canada.

RISE applicants are selected through a very competitive application process and must commit to two years of in-person and online training as well as one year of service. In total, it is a three-year commitment.

Learn more or start your application today.
Applications are due by Monday, October 31, 2016,
so start today to have the time to thoroughly complete the process. 

2016 NBCC Summit: From left to right, Medha Sutliff YSC's Sr. Regional Field Manager (Midwest), RISE Advocates Laura D'Alessandro, Tracy Leduc, Jen Linares and Rebecca Seago-Coyle, and Michelle Esser YSC's Sr. Program Manager for Research & Advocacy.